Time running out for TCU, Boise State

College Football Bcs Standings

Top 8 unchanged

Frogs need help to leap forward

November 16, 2009|By Andrea Adelson | Tribune newspapers

Status quo ruled the top of the Bowl Championship Series standings Sunday, with Florida retaining the No. 1 spot again.

The top eight teams all won this weekend, so the top eight teams remained the same in the rankings. Alabama was right behind the Gators, with Texas at No. 3, TCU at No. 4 and Cincinnati at No. 5. All five are 10-0.

What is intriguing is what will happen with the at-large selections to the BCS games. TCU needs help to make it to the national championship game. As of now the Horned Frogs look all but certain to get the only automatic spot guaranteed to a non-BCS team if they win out. So where does that leave No. 6 Boise State (10-0)?

The Broncos could be in great position to get an at-large bid after USC (7-3) lost to Stanford 55-21. The Trojans, No. 9 last week, dropped to No. 18 and will have their streak of seven straight BCS game appearances end.

There are six automatic bids that go to conference champions. No. 10 Ohio State has locked up the Big Ten berth. If the top four teams finish the regular season undefeated, here are the scenarios: Texas needs to win the Big 12 championship game to make it to the BCS title game Jan. 7 in Pasadena. The Longhorns would play the winner of the SEC championship game between Florida and Alabama.

The loser of that game would get an at-large berth. So would TCU. That leaves two at-large slots available.

What are the possibilities? It depends on how the season finishes. If Cincinnati is undefeated going into its game against No. 9 Pittsburgh on Dec. 5 and loses, then the Panthers would get the automatic bid as Big East champion. A one-loss Cincinnati team could be attractive as an at-large selection. If Texas loses it most likely would get an at-large berth.

There also is No. 13 Iowa (9-2), which was 9-0 before losing two straight. No. 12 Oklahoma State (8-2) could be a possibility as well. No. 14 Penn State (9-2) would have a remote shot, considering it lost to Iowa and Ohio State. If Alabama and Florida get into the BCS, then No. 8 LSU is out even if it finishes in the top 10 because rules allow a maximum of two BCS teams from the same conference.

Five teams ranked between Nos. 9-17 in last week's BCS standings lost, which obviously helps Boise State.

If TCU and Boise State both are selected, it would be the first time that two nonautomatic qualifier schools make it into BCS games.

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